"In the U.S. case, the author (Ian Masser) zeros in on one of the most
successful (if not the most successful) examples of joint multiparty ventures
in sharing core data sets - MetroGIS, a stakeholder-governed cooperation among
seven counties in Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area."
Nedovic-Budic, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
in her review of Dr. Ian Masser's 2005 book by ESRI press entitled GIS Worlds -
Creating Spatial Data Infrastructures. Dr. Masser is an internationally
respected authority on Spatial Data Infrastructures from technical as well as
organizational perspectives. Dr. Budic, the reviewer, is referring to MetroGIS
as noted by Dr. Masser as being among the most successful Spatial Data
Infrastructure initiatives from an international perspective.
"MetroGIS has already resolved many of the problems that most
communities are yet to realize even need to be addressed. These include
questions such as 'What data do we share? How do we include partners who do not
have the assets to fully participate? How do we convince anyone to
participate?' These issues may sound trivial, but the reality is that the
people-based, management issues are now more difficult to handle than the
purely technical issues of data-sharing. MetroGIS has done a remarkable
-Sam Bacharach, Executive Director for Outreach and Community
Adoption at the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), July 2004
"If someone is doing GIS on their own, they are not realizing the full
potential of the technology."
-David Claypool, Surveyor and Coordinator
of GIS Operations for Ramsey County, MetroGIS Coordinating Committee
"One of the benefits of Scott County's GIS User Group is that the
county shares applications with the cities. The group is also a good way for us
to get together and discuss GIS issues that affect us all, and it is an
excellent forum for training group members."
-Dan Pfeffer, GIS
Coordinator for Scott County
"The benefit of our consortium's membership in the Ramsey County User
Group goes both ways. We have access to timely data that helps us do our job
better, and the county gets feedback from us on ways to improve their data. A
lot of information sharing and problem solving goes on at our
-Beth Hyser, Hamline Midway Area Rehabilitation Corporation;
Member, St. Paul Community GIS Consortium
"The data cities want to see--like where crime is occurring or how
property values are changing--don't necessarily stop at city borders. Cities
often need a metropolitan-wide view to be able to see and compare what's
-Brad Henry, Engineer, formerly with the City of
Minneapolis; currently with URS Corp.; Former Chair, MetroGIS Coordinating
"GIS is a powerful tool for land use and other planning purposes. The
Metropolitan Council supports the MetroGIS initiative because it helps advance
our smart growth objectives. As the Council, counties, cities and others work
collaboratively, we use resources wisely and make the region more
-Roger Williams, former Metropolitan Council and MetroGIS
Policy Board Member
"Sharing data among organizations is helping government provide
services for less cost and less effort. MetroGIS exemplifies a trend we've seen
on the city level in recent years to look 'outside the box' at ways to
cooperate and form joint ventures."
-Terry Schneider, Association of
Metropolitan Municipalities, Minnetonka City Council Member
"The MetroGIS approach is based upon the premise that collaborations
must depend not simply on good will but on good sense - the investments
required to assemble and manage aggregated data are real and cannot be
justified on good will alone. The public officials that comprise the MetroGIS
Policy Board provide the ultimate reality check!"
Director, Minnesota Land Management Information Center, MetroGIS Coordinating
Regarding Cost Savings:
"The 2020 Planned Land Use dataset has revolutionized our planning
practices. The data has saved considerable time and effort in identifuing and
analyzing future development patterns. Before this data became available, we
used paper maps for future land use patterns. We are saving our clients many
dollars...not to mention that the foundation of the analysis is more
-Bob Diedrich, SRF Consulting Group, Inc.
"The process for assembling the data we need has become much easier
under the MetroGIS data-sharing agreements, and our costs have gone way down.
The regional datasets will also be a big plus because we will not have to spend
our time standardizing the data from one county to another. We can go about our
business of controlling the mosquito population."
-Nancy Read, Technical
Services Leader, Metropolitan Mosquito Control District
"GIS data are indispensable tools as local governments and the Council
prepare for the growth challenges of the future. MetroGIS facilitates the
sharing of GIS data that meet the common information needs of local and
regional governments. Data sharing has practical benefits - like saving time
and money - for everyone involved."
-Roger Williams, former Metropolitan
Council and MetroGIS Policy Board Member
"MetroGIS has been instrumental in helping us get off the drawing board
to develop what is perhaps the most unique GIS database system around, at least
at the municipal level. MetroGIS opened the door and helped us in terms of
accessibility to datasets from counties, providing a sizable cost
-Joe Strauss, Executive Director, I-35W Coalition
"One of the essential jobs of counties is allocating scarce resources
among many needs. As we get better and more information through data sharing we
will make a fairer allocation of funds."
-Randy Johnson, Hennepin County
Board Chair, MetroGIS Policy Board Member
"Many local governments could not afford the data on their own;
MetroGIS made it possible."
-Victoria Reinhardt, MetroGIS Policy Board
Regarding Planning and Growth Management:
"GIS is a very effective tool for planning and programming future
street rehabilitation and communicating that plan to the residents and
businesses of the community."
-Les Proper, Director of Public Works,
City of New Brighton
"The challenges this region faces with forecasted population growth,
and the resulting need to grow smarter through redevelopment and infill
development in urban areas, just begs for GIS as an integral planning tool."
-Mark Vanderschaaf, Research and GIS Coordinator, City of St. Paul and
former MetroGIS Coordinating Committee Member
"MetroGIS plays the unique role of facilitating the integration of
geographic data from across the region, thus creating visual tools that greatly
enhance public decisions, like siting new schools."
Johns, Superintendent, Brooklyn Center Schools; MetroGIS Policy Board
"Collaborating on GIS and sharing data are very practical for
government in the region. We learn from each other, we save time and money, and
we are better able to solve problems that cross community boundaries. GIS is an
invaluable tool for addressing economic development, environmental protection,
and a host of other Smart Growth issues."
-Roger Williams, former
Metropolitan Council and MetroGIS Policy Board Member
Regarding Data Access:
"Since the events of September 11 , we've had requests for more
current, and higher resolution, geographic data about the Twin Cities area from
several federal agencies. DataFinder is a valuable resource for searching,
learning about and viewing available data."
-Ron Wencl, National
Mapping Program Liaison, United States Geological Survey, MetroGIS Coordinating
"Regional coordination of GIS is important so governments can generate
regionwide maps using the same protocols and standards."
Schreiber, former Metropolitan Council and MetroGIS Policy Board Member
"I was able to find what I wanted on DataFinder very quickly. I scanned
through the metadata, found information on the projection system, and
downloaded the data with a double click. The whole process took five minutes,
maybe less. I thought 'Great! This is terrific.'"
-David Windle, GIS
Coordinator, City of Roseville, MN
"Before MetroGIS, it was extremely time-consuming just to obtain the
data we needed from all the counties and then integrate it. Now we can focus on
how to use the data to better serve residents."
-Nancy Read, Technical
Services Leader, Metropolitan Mosquito Control District
Regarding MetroGIS's DataFinder
"Being able to go to one place to get current, accurate parcel data
will be a great benefit for airport noise planning. It will save a tremendous
amount of time that I now spend getting and normalizing the data from
individual cities and counties."
-Mark Kill, GIS Specialist with the
Metropolitan Airports Commission
"If this allows us to select the current regional data we need off the
Internet and bring it into our system, that's fantastic. This tool opens up a
whole new world for GIS users, especially those of us dealing with multiple
-Chuck Corliss, Director of Transportation and Capital
Improvement for the White Bear Area Public Schools
"This project allows MetroGIS to fully realize its mission. The tool
will provide GIS users easy access to exactly the data they need along with the
security that data producers demand."
-MetroGIS Policy Board Chair